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Bou Rachana, Kem Ley’s wife, holds a portrait of her late husband as the funeral procession makes its way through Phnom Penh in July.
Bou Rachana, Kem Ley’s wife, holds a portrait of her late husband as the funeral procession makes its way through Phnom Penh in July. Pha Lina

Queen Mother donates $500 to Ley’s widow

Queen Mother Norodom Monineath has donated $500 to the family of slain political analyst Kem Ley for the Pchum Ben holiday, a member of the royal family confirmed yesterday.

Prince Sisowath Thomico said the Queen Mother was concerned for the welfare of Ley’s widow, Bou Rachana, who is eight months pregnant, and her four sons. The family fled Cambodia last month in fear of their safety, and plan to apply for asylum in the United States.

Thomico stressed that the contribution, which he said he had organised to have delivered to the family, was “humanitarian” and not political.

“She wanted to give a little money to [Rachana] and to her children. She’s very concerned about the wellbeing of the family because they are victims of what’s happened, so she feels very bad for the widow, especially because she’s expecting,” Thomico said.

Ley, a prominent anti-government critic, was gunned down on July 10 at a gas station in Phnom Penh. Though police have arrested and charged a former soldier who claimed that Ley owed him money, many people believe his killing was a political assassination.

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